The 25th Anniversary of Jeans for Genes was wholeheartedly embraced by the Australian community and has raised more than $850,000 so far for research into children’s genetic diseases – with much more still to come!
The iconic charity day that involves individuals, schools and businesses wearing their jeans on the first Friday in August was supported far and wide across the country.
This was the first year that Jeans for Genes had volunteers collecting money and selling merchandise on the streets of the Gold Coast, Darwin, Hobart and Launceston.
Children’s Medical Research Institute scientists volunteered at locations all across Sydney.
Researcher Steve Williams said he found it very “motivating to see so many people happy do donate’’.
Another researcher, Sam Pen, loves volunteering so she can meet supporters.
“I was really touched by a lady who came just to thank us on our job, as she understood how important our researchers are. She has close friends with a young daughter born recently with a very rare genetic disease.”
Some of the events across Australia included NSW Police raising more than $3500 at their Sydney head office, and small towns with big hearts, like Taree West Public School raising $535.60.
The community came up with some unique ideas to fundraise – including dressing up their dogs in denim and the Kiama Kubes Winter Swimming Group even swam in their jeans on a freezing cold day!
In rural Victoria, Deniliquin Dry Cleaners donated $10 from every pair of jeans dry cleaned to the campaign, while the friends and family of little Henry Gowans – who was one of the faces of this year’s campaign – managed to raise more than $13,000.
Henry’s mother, Jessica, said she was grateful to be able to spread the word about genetic metabolic disorders like her son’s and thanked those who “had our back’’.
“We’re all a team working together to create a brighter and healthier future for the 1 in 20 children with birth defects and genetic diseases.’’
Corporates across the country also came together to help the fundraising effort in several ways. Universal Store raised over $17,000 through a digital campaign featuring Children’s Medical Research Institute’s young researchers and pledging $5 from each pair of Jeans sold across all retail stores.
Grill’d enhanced the campaign message ‘Fight with me, Fight for me’
via a clever restaurant activation at key restaurants nationwide.
Virgin Australia offered support through free advertising spots across airport screens and their inflight magazine, and encouraging staff to wear double denim at head office on the day.
Contributions were also made from Westpac, Domain & Co, Stanford Brown, Criniti’s, Winc, MUFG and Augertorque.
All the funds raised on Jeans for Genes Day go towards finding ground-breaking cures at Children’s Medical Research Institute.
Everyone who took part in this year’s event are encouraged to deposit donations as soon as they can, but for anyone who couldn’t participate – it’s not too late! Many schools and businesses are organising their own Jeans for Genes events later in the year, with movie nights, cake stalls or denim fashion parades.
You can also donate all year round! Find out more at jeansforgenes.org.au